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Forum UI stuff - need opinions

(53 posts)
  • Started 9 years ago by The Geek
  • Latest reply from LifesSweetDrug
  • Topic Viewed 3064 times

The Geek
Posts: 2059

I'm working on modifying the thread list view on the front page and other pages. Instead of just throwing the theme out there like I did last time, I figured I'd put up a screenshot and get some thoughts from all of you.

The key change is that original poster has been added to the view, and it's been changed to double-line. Oh, and I added icons.

Thoughts?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Looks nice although I am not sure what the Icons are used for. I wonder whether it would make more sense to show the number of times the item has been viewed rather than the number of posts. The number of posts you see anyhow when you open the item. Number of views gives you an idea of the interest in it or the difficulty of the subject. If a lot of people have viewed but still no answer, then you know you have a toughie.

Posted 9 years ago
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taybay
Posts: 521

I would agree with adding number of views as well. Number of posts is necessary, but a view count is a pretty common forum feature. Also, I like the icons. I'm assuming the icons would reflect whether a post is new or not. For some reason it's sometimes difficult for me to differentiate between bold and normal threads, so this would help.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Not directly related to this Forum page but to Postings I was wondering whether there was a facility to highlight sections or words in a posting - maybe in another color (except blue which is reserved for URL's). I am not pleading for a "color circus" but sometimes you want something to stand out to focus the reader on it. Just one more optional color or typeset.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

Personally I check out threads where I only see 1 post... definitely useful.

The views wouldn't be tough to add, we're tracking them just only showing them on the topic page. Incidentally we've had about 500k total views on the forum threads so far... that's just viewing of topics alone.

The bold / normal threads is a big problem... I've been unhappy with that for a while and plan to make that more obvious. The icons are going to be for new / old, as taybay mentioned, and also separate icons for closed threads.

As far as highlighting, do you mean when you write a post? I've been considering adding a rich text editor as an option... is that something that would be useful?

Posted 9 years ago
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HASH
Posts: 207

I would say both thread views and no. of posts are useful. I would prefer a whole new theme however the font that is currently used in fine.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

I will concede to popular opinion on this one (I neither like, nor dislike the change). But, could the Latest Discussions on all Forums please be run over several pages. It's sometimes a job to find something you looked at yesterday and can't remember what forum it was connected to

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Very true Lighthouse. Right now we are playing Hide and Seek.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

Yeah, I think we have a couple problems with paging, both on the front page as well as the views.

You guys are welcome to propose a different look/theme... it's your forum, afterall =)

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

On Highlighting: Just the ability to highlight a word or a phrase here and there in the posting/answer - either by different type set, bolding or color
Paging: I think this is a real problem
Different Look: I would not change it too radically. That would alienate us. The proposal looks good if some of the smaller items could be added.

Posted 9 years ago
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taybay
Posts: 521

I'm putting in a vote for the rich text editor as well.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hey, who's payin' for all of this?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

It's taybays "rich" editor

Posted 9 years ago
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InDiSent
Posts: 1084

I like the original poster under the subject. It's a keeper.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Yep, InDiSent, that is good
@Sir Geek, and underneath the last post, maybe shortcut "Return to Forum" or somesuch

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

@Lighthouse

Do you mean last post as in this page or the forum thread list page?

The only expense involved is my time =)

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

@The Geek
As in this page. To give a direct return to the forum thread list page.

Time ain't nothing but it's free

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

Maybe instead of having the icon be for new/old posts we could have it for the different sections like on the geek articles. This would make it greatly easier for identifying if an article plays to you strengths or weaknesses.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

I am still not sure I understand the use of the icons. Maybe they could contain the 'number of posts' and then the 'number of views' could go on the right side of the page.
If one day we will be blessed with a "rich editor" it would be nice if it were compatible with Word. Thus postings drafted in Word and pasted into the Forum would retain their setup.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

@Smashpmk712: that's a good idea, somebody else suggested that to me as well.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Hey whs. rtf was invented by MS

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

I know that, but "rich" could be taken as generic and do we know what's on BBpress

Posted 9 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

@Lighthouse: I didn't know that. Also wikipedia says RTF was made for cross-platform document interchange in 1987. I didn't know Microsoft made any format for cross-platform use.

On forum ideas, I don't know if it's possible but if well one is writing a reply or editing you could get a notification of a new post that would be cool.
At the moment you make start writing a reply and then submit it and find out the post was already answered.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

For jd: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_Text_Format

Posted 9 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

@whs: That is the exact page I just read and was referring to when I wrote "Also wikipedia says" above.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

sorry jd, I must have been too fast in my speed reading by the sequence: Type > read > think

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

just a thought as I am reading this topic ... I know that in a normal forum the newest entry goes to the bottom.... but I have noticed that if you are following a thread then you have to scroll all the way there. wouldn't it be more efficient to post the newest post at the top of the first page?

Posted 9 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

@Smashpmk712: I'm not sure what your talking about. The newest post is at the top of the list and has been for a while.

Posted 9 years ago
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taybay
Posts: 521

I think he means posts in a thread. It may be more efficient, but I think it would be far too disorienting to newcomers.

Also, perhaps a reply button by each post would be useful?

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Hi taybay, I find the reply button like they have them on other Fora very confusing. It breaks the flow of the thread.
Last post on top is not such a bad idea. I think we would get used to it. Smash has a point. Rolling down all the time is kind of annoying.

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

It's a fairly standard convention to have latest post on the bottom... I've rarely ever seen a forum or comments system that works the other way.

Remember that your posts are also read by many people that don't participate... hopefully when solving a thread for one person the solution is preserved for others to follow.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

You don't need to scroll down to get to the last reply. Just click on "Latest Reply" link at the top

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

@Lighthouse, I never noticed the last reply up there before. I think that is a sufficient enough solution to my scrolling dilemma. Thanks!

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Lighthouse is soooo smart. I never noticed that either. I vote with Smash - that is sufficient.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

If you see something, click on it (it could be helpful, it could be disastrous) but you never know till you try!

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

@Lighthouse

So you would definitely push the big red button =)

Posted 9 years ago
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Scott
Posts: 5618

Dear Mr. Lig H. Thouse,

I have been founding some monies in your name. All you have to do is wired me $25,000. Please click here [_____]

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

@ Sir Geek, yes, it either sets off the fire alarm, or shuts down the generator (all part of my training)

@Scott, I clicked there but nothing happened

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

I don't know if theis is the thread for this but sometimes when I look at a post on the forum someones post will not show up. It shows as a blank post then I have to highlight it and it shows just fine. Make sense? let me know if I should start a new post.

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

@the geekster,
do you know when you are going to implement this super cool new UI? also I had one other suggestion ... Is it possible to put the last few topic that you have participated in some where on the main page of the forum?

Posted 9 years ago
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The Geek
Posts: 2059

@Smash

I've been trying to get the UI put together... I'm doing it all in my spare time so it could be this weekend or a few years away, depending on how much time I have =)

My goal is really just to improve the forum for both the current dedicated users as well as make it easier to get acclimated to for new users... it's a balancing act.

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

Cool thank you so much for all your hard work .... this site has been a life saver a few times for me.

Posted 9 years ago
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Lighthouse
Posts: 13598

Anything I can do to help, I will (no demands for money or difficult coding please)

Posted 9 years ago
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Smashpmk712
Posts: 313

same here. But I warn you ... when it come to websites all i know is basic HTML. Oh yeah and all the DNS and networking stuff behind them.

Posted 9 years ago
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jd2066
Posts: 3814

I just thought of a new idea for the forum home page.
It's not always obvious what forum a post is in when you see it on the forum home page.
My idea is to add the forum to the display of topics.
It could be something like "Forum X: Topic Title", "Topic title in forum X" or going with icon idea there could be an added icon denoting the forum with something like an OS Logo.

Also how are the other ideas like post icons on this thread coming along?
Are you working on them or decide against them?

Posted 9 years ago
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taybay
Posts: 521

I agree with jd, perhaps you could just add an extra column to denote which subforum the topic is part of.

Posted 9 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

I second jd and taybay. I made the mistake a few times posting a Vista solution to an XP problem. Fortunately jd always catches it.

Posted 9 years ago
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BobJam
Posts: 1052

DEFINITELY a Rick Text Editor.

And email notification would be nice (you posted a reply to me on another thread that this was something you were considering when you got around to it . . . you also said that RSS feeds were already an option, but for those of us that have a primitive dial up, maybe the email notification option would be better).

A "preview" post feature would also be good. Right now you can sort of do that by submitting and then editing, but that is a workaround and it only "lasts" for as long as you can edit (which I think is 15 minutes after you post). Sometimes it takes a little longer if you want to modify the post substantially, and the 15 minute edit function sometimes "expires" (this happened to me once). A "preview" might prevent that from happening.

I said it before in another thread, but I'll say it again: My compliments on your maintenance of this forum, especially if it is, as it is, on your own time and dime.

Posted 9 years ago
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BobJam
Posts: 1052

I found a workaround to the RSS feed for us archaic dial up users (those few of us who haven't stepped into the 21st Century and put our stubby pencils down). I put all the threads I'm interested in on my "Favorites" list. It's kind of tedious because the list grows (haven't trimmed it down yet, but that will help), but at least it gives me a way to go immediately to the thread I want to look at without searching for it.

Posted 8 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@The Geek,

Take a look at the huge list of Topics with NO-Replies. Need some method to keep them active for some (Reasonable) period of time.

A (Solved) topic is a +10; A try is a +5; A don't know is a 0 AND A No-Reply is a -25 to others looking at this forum including those providing the revenue stream.

Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 8 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 6581

Didn't read all of this - just hit the latest reply link when Lighthouse offered that:)
But I wonder what font is set for this forum? The screenshot at the beginning is quite different from how it looks for me (I have a tendency to delete fonts, as Lighthouse knows well, LOL).

Edit - might be Verdana? Figures ...

Posted 8 years ago
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jack7h3r1pp3r
Posts: 2815

wow seems like i got to this one a bit late but if there could be a solved button that the original poster could push to have it say solved on it might be helpful because i think the mods mainly do it now. and i think that it look really good so far

Posted 8 years ago
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LifesSweetDrug
Posts: 72

I think it could be useful to be able to chose how the columns on the forum page is listed.

So for example you could either chose to list it by number of views, posts or freshness etc. if you know what I mean.

It could just be me though!

Posted 8 years ago
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